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Discussion Starter #1
Well I am perplexed, the battery I had after being topped with distilled failed so replaced it. But I will back up, I did the service on the battery and all seemed fine then one day I went to start and everything flat near dead so I tested and replaced the battery.
After install over night the thing was dead I mean zero so I charge it and after an hour its starting fine I run it and park it at the store come out and fine it starts right up. So I park it and over night the thing goes dead again.

The one thing that red flagged me was the ignition sw was causing a bell to go off when I turned off and even after I pulled the key. It seemed weird so I inspected it to look for tampering at the sw but none. I added some lube spray as things up here need it at times and the bell issue was fixed, so I figured an ignition position ground brought about by binding in the keyed switch.
But no, because overnight the problem repeats.. The van is old but good shape, just looking to see if this is an issue that has been seen before with these, sometime stuff happens regularly due to design issues.. I am busted so to save a bunch of diagnostic time and costs I ask for your help, thanks very much in advance.
 

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The bell dinging usually indicates something is still on, as in dome lights, a door ajar, or an accessory that does not require ignition being on. There is definitely a drain, which could be wiring shorting somewhere, little animals like to chew wiring, so that may be a possibility. One way to narrow down the search is the next time the bell keeps dinging, start pulling fuses until it goes out, which should narrow down the circuit that is draining the battery. Until you can determine which circuit it is, you can disconnect the battery at night to keep her from going dead, This is not a normal thing for these vans, but there are a lot more electrical items that have a tiny draw constantly on the batteries that didn't exist 20 years ago, from radios and electronics to security/key remote systems.
 

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If the 'key-in' switch was stuck on, the chime would continue with the key out and the drivers door opened. A 12 volt bulb connected in series with a battery post and terminal will go out (or dim) when the offending circuit that is staying on is opened.
 
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This old unit has some wild anomalies for example the elec window circt will stick and the blower is actuated with a rubber mallet, wipers give a random swipe now and then w/o any prompting, an lets see... well you get the point, could be any number of sources,. also I hear tell the VR can be pulling due to alt failing maybe diode issue? so anyway I am looking at installing a terminal cut off and having an Alt test done, maybe in that order due to the myriad listed above,, Thanks for the ideas though, good day!
 

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If it is the original alternator, the brushes are probably worn to the point where it is charging intermittantly or is providing erratic output. It could be that the alternator is just not charging the battery fully. FYI, low battery voltage will cause some of the vehicle accessories to act erratically.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
dripping charge madness solved with a battery post interrupt knock off, so now as long as I remember to disconnect all is well! thanks for all the help
 

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FWIW, my recently acquired 96 GCV also has the wipers (front and rear) make an occasional sweep. I presume that's a design feature to confirm that they are still operational, just like the instrument cluster lights all coming on at start up. ;~)

Glad to hear I'm not the only one. Previous owner has had some fun joking about such unpredictable things in this car, as well as a primitive car phone system the wiring for which was still in the car when I acquired it - the joke was that's how I was being tracked, and indeed, once or twice she told me that I "was seen at"...such and such a place, and was correct. Spies were referenced in that case as well!

Usually the warning is to not buy a car from, or sell one to a friend. This is the odd case of buying a car and becoming friends, as we have.
 

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That's one way to do it. After noting the wipers were operating on their own, the multi-switch may be worn. Some of the PT Cruisers had a problem where the fog lights would all the sudden stay on without reason and start killing batteries, I had it happen to both my Cruisers, so maybe this is where the problem lies.
 

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The multifunction switch was the biggest offender in both PT f/lamp and NS ghost wiper cases. There was a TSB # 08-31-98A that addressed how to diagnose ghost wipers on '96-'97 NS minivans.
 

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Kind of weird that the wipers swipe every once in a while. Just for the heck of it, I'd check the bcm plug for corrosion. It's located under the kick panel on the passenger side footwell. Just unplug and plug it back in several times. If there's light corrosion, this should help sweep the connectors clean.
 
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